Been Rich All My Life Image

Generally favorable reviews - based on 17 Critics What's this?

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  • Summary: This documentary follows the unlikeliest troupe of tap dancing divas. They are the "Silver Belles," five former showgirls now aged 84-96, performing to standing ovations, as sassy as they ever were. They met during Harlem's 1930's heyday, dancing in the chorus lines at the Apollo Theater, the Cotton Club, Small's Paradise and Connie's Inn, performing with legendary band leaders like Cab Calloway and Duke Ellington. When the big band era ended, they all went into other work -- but in 1985 they put their shoes back on, and have been dancing together again ever since. They may not kick as high, but they are hip-swaying and show-biz savvy. (First Run Features) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 17
  2. Negative: 0 out of 17
  1. Reviewed by: Michael Phillips
    It's a modest but highly enjoyable tribute.
  2. The film could be more adept and probing, but the ladies - Cleo Hayes, Marion Coles, Elaine Ellis, Fay Ray, and Geri Kennedy - are delightful.
  3. An admiring portrait of the Silver Belles, a troupe of veteran Harlem tap dancers between the ages of 84 and 96, is a valuable historical document and a useful how-to movie about making the most of old age.
  4. Reviewed by: Melissa Levine
    The Silver Belles are bold, brash, and gorgeously awake, and their willingness to live large is thrilling.
  5. An invaluable chapter in the story of our city.
  6. 50
    A so-so documentary about another fascinating, underreported piece of Harlem history.

See all 17 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 2
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 2
  3. Negative: 0 out of 2
  1. AlgernonH.
    Jul 22, 2006
    Inspiring, funny, thrilling and beautifully made!
  2. SisterDisciple
    Aug 21, 2006
    A richly uplifting if somewhat rambling portrait of indomitableness in the face of old age and infirmity, Been Rich All My Life will be inspirational to young and old alike. However it turns out to be A so-so documentary about another fascinating, underreported piece of Harlem history. Expand